Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Megablitz Archive - A Bridge Too Small part 5

I hope you've been enjoying the photos of this game - there are more still to come.  I have now found the plans and 'war diary' I kept during the game.

The Allied Plan
US 101st to capture bridges at Son (N of Eindhoven) and Veghel.
US 82nd to capture bridges at Nijmegen (2 of) and Grave.
Brit 1st Abn (to be reinforced by 1 Pol Bde) to capture Arnhem bridge and secure Deelen Airfield for the subsequent landing of 15 (Scottish) Div.

Brit XXX Corps, headed by Guards Armoured to push up the single road, over the 'carpet' of paras, reaching Arnhem within 3 days.

Day 1 - 17/09/44
XXX Corps advances beyond Valkenswaard, opposed by German infantry and sporadic artillery fire.

2 rgts of 101 land east of Eindhoven, suffering significant (c20%) losses in the drop.  Soon engaged by elements of 361 ID

2 rgts of 82 land - one N of Nijmegen, the other between there and Grave.  All 3 bridges secured by nightfall.

1st Abn lands 2 bdes - gliders S of Arnhem and Paras E of town.  Both reach Arnhem and secure both ends of the bridge, just prior to the arrival of lead elements (the Recce Btl of course!) of II SS PzK.  A single para btl is detached to Deelen Aerodrome.  Most of the division's radios don't work.

Day 2 - 18/09/44
XXX Corps reaches Eindhoven by late afternoon, but not before German engineers blow the bridge at Son.  A nasty attack by KG Walther near Valkenswaard seriously weakens the RE detachment of Guards Armoured and the bridging column of XXX Corps.

Poor weather delays drops until the afternoon.

101 consolidates it's 2 rgts.  Having failed to secure Son bridge, it crosses the canal and by the end of the day is in possession of the bridge at Veghel having fought off an attack by 2 battalions of SS Panzergrenadiers (part of II SS PzK, detached to LXXXVI Korps).
The third rgt lands E of St.Oesterrode, suffering serious losses.

82 lands a third rgt N of the Maas.  The division's staff land in the river!  One of the btls at Grave counterattacks a probe by an SS KG (the same one mentioned above) resulting in heavy losses on both sides.  The CO becomes increasingly worried about the possibility of a German attack from the Grossbeek Heights.

1st Abn manages (at considerable cost) to drive off the attack by II SS PzK, helped by RAF Typhoons which appear in response to the division's many requests for air cover.
1st's final bde is dropped on Deelen Aerodrome - just as a bde-sized KG arrives from II SS PzK arrives.  A bitter and costly battle for the airfield ensues.

Days 3 & 4  and the remaining photos still to come.


Archduke Piccolo said...

Have indeed been enjoying the photos and the narrative.

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

I remember that was one hell of scrap on Deelen aerodrome.

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
I am gratified to hear it! Stay tuned...

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
Yes - it was a real fight to the death situation!

Paul Foster said...

Epic stuff Tim. Bring the rest of it on please!

Tim Gow said...

Paul Foster
I'll aim to get the rest posted during Christmas week. Think of it as a (very cheap) present....